RealWear has raised $80 million for its augmented reality headset and platform for connected workers.
The company will use the funds, which are a combination of equity and debt, to
continue market expansion and accelerate its platform development.
RealWear’s funding and loans were led by industrial automation firm Teradyne, with additional money from Bose Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Kopin, and JPMorgan Chase.
From its inception, RealWear has focused on products, like the HMT-1 headset, that are specifically designed to improve job satisfaction, productivity, and safety for the connected enterprise workforce.
The HMT-1 essentially puts a 7-inch virtual Android tablet within glancing range, sitting just below the worker’s line of sight, with a micro display that can work outdoors in rugged environments.
The Vancouver, Washington-based company makes a variety of industrial hands-free wearable computers to enhance workers’ situational awareness while delivering vital information on demand in harsh environments.
In the past 18 months, the company has shipped 15,000 headsets to 1,300 enterprise customers and worked on 120 workforce software applications.
“RealWear has created a powerful platform that aligns with our vision for a safer, more productive work environment powered by easy-to-use, rapid ROI automation solutions,” said Teradyne CEO Mark Jagiela in a statement. “RealWear’s strategy to leverage the power of advanced technologies like augmented reality to assist workers across a wide range of tasks has many parallels with Teradyne’s industrial automation strategy, and we look forward to helping RealWear continue their exciting growth.”
RealWear CEO Andy Lowery said the company has been pragmatic in its fund-raising strategy.
“Our seed investments came from friends, family, early customers, suppliers, and business partners. Their faith carried us to our series A, led by Columbia Ventures Corporation,” he said, in a statement. “CVC’s experience in heavy industry, one of our primary markets, made it a perfect match. It was critical that RealWear’s new investors be business and technology leaders. Teradyne, Bose Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, and Kopin fit that bill.”
RealWear’s series A lead, CVC took this new round as an opportunity to increase its investment in the company, as did many early seed investors.
Lowery said, “The continued support of our entire ecosystem is tremendously
gratifying for the entire RealWear team.”
Enterprise applications have contributed early design wins for AR glasses, which are still relatively bulky.
“The augmented reality enterprise market has experienced a great deal of hype, but long-term, real-world solutions have been thin on the ground,” said Tom Mainelli, an analyst at IDC Group, in a statement. “RealWear smartly recognized the need for a no-nonsense head-mounted display and has delivered no-frills products that help frontline workers to get their jobs done more safely and efficiently.”
Among the company’s customers are Colgate, Shell, Uros, Globalfoundries, Airbus, and BMW. The company has 110 employees and has raised more than $100 million, to date.